'Ohana Bread Pudding

I did it! I made a perfect rendition of 'Ohana Bread Pudding! I think we enjoyed it even more than we did when we were at 'Ohana last time. (Probably because we are so stuffed from all the other food, that we can only manage a bite or two of the bread pudding by the time they bring it out). I will warn you, unless you have a large party over to help you eat this, you may want to halve the recipe...it is dangerous to have leftovers sitting around, especially since it is just as good, if not better, after sitting for a day or so! 


Girls' Getaway Weekend

Let's talk about Girls Getaway Weekend! For anyone who has been following me, it has been briefly mentioned, but I would like to share with y'all the awesomeness that is this weekend!



Disney From a Child's View


Disney is such an incredible experience for the whole family. I love listening to my kids talk about their favorite memories long after we return home. When we went to the World in April, Rob and I were not sure how much Flynn would remember from the trip, since he was still 3 years old. Turns out, his mind is a steel trap! Today, I share with you an interview 6 months post trip.


Stuck in a Rut


Hi!! I have been quiet lately, and for that, I apologize. Things have gotten crazy busy around here, between work, school, the kids, scouts, and keeping up with things around the house. Unfortunately, all of that led to me slacking big time here with the blog. Working from home is a blessing and a curse, and this week, it has been a mixed bag! Blessing, I was able to go with Flynn on two field trips in the last two weeks. I love that I can have that flexibility to schedule my work around my kids' needs and wants. Which leads me to the Curse of working from home...I am here to take care of all of my kids' wants. Last night, I hit my limit of interruptions for the week! Between the dogs and the kids (okay, primarily, I mean Flynn) every time I sat down to try to write, work on a quote, or take care of any of my client's needs, I heard "Mom!", or the dogs were going crazy, or I was cleaning up a mess. (RIP my awesome Day of the Dead skull) 

Some days you just have to pull out the big mug to get through the day! (plus, Figment makes everything better)

New Walt Disney World Early 2017 Discount


Play, Stay, Dine and save up to $500* on a 5-night 6-day Walt Disney Travel Company room, ticket and dining plan package for a family of four at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights Jan. 1-March 7, 2017 when you book Oct. 3-Dec. 21, 2016.

Offer Details
Book Through
December 21, 2016
 Valid Travel Dates 
Stays most nights January 1, 2017 through March 7, 2017
Length of Stay Requirements
  • Minimum – 3 nights
  • Maximum – 14 nights
Important Details
  • Sample package savings is based on 2 adults, 1 junior and 1 child for a 5-night/6-day room.
  • The number of packages allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Length of stay requirements may apply.
  • Tickets and Options must be used within 14 days of first use.
  • Must purchase a Walt Disney Travel Co. room and ticket package, and must mention the offer when calling to book. Must use a valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card to pay the deposit.
  • Some table-service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.
  • Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.
Offer Restrictions
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion
  • Advance reservation required.
  • Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities.
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from the children’s menu, if available.
  • Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort –The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
Click here for your quote!


Favorite World Showcase Country

The 2016 Food and Wine Festival is underway at Epcot right now, so, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to take a look at my favorite country in the World Showcase!


Disney's Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant Review

My friend Carol Kneece, owner of Fans of Mickey Mouse's House is back with a guest review of Sci-Fi Dine-In at Disney's Hollywood Studios. After reading this, it is on my list of must try restaurants!

Disney's Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant Review

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Stay Play and Dine

Just released today for Disney Visa Card Holders!


Offer Details

Book Through
December 21, 2016
 Valid Travel Dates 
Stays most nights January 1, 2017 through March 7, 2017
Length of Stay Requirements
  • Minimum – 3 nights
  • Maximum – 14 nights
Important Details
  • Sample package savings is based on 2 adults, 1 junior and 1 child for a 5-night/6-day room.
  • The number of packages allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Length of stay requirements may apply.
  • Tickets and Options must be used within 14 days of first use.
  • Must purchase a Walt Disney Travel Co. room and ticket package, and must mention the offer when calling to book. Must use a valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card to pay the deposit.
  • Some table-service restaurants may have limited or no availability at time of package purchase.
  • Everyone in the same room must be on the same package.
Offer Restrictions
  • Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion
  • Advance reservation required.
  • Excludes alcoholic beverages and gratuities.
  • Children ages 3 to 9 must choose from the children’s menu, if available.
  • Offer excludes campsites, 3-bedroom villas, Disney's Art of Animation Resort –The Little Mermaid Standard Rooms and Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.

Movies to Prep for Walt Disney World

One piece of advice I always give my clients before they leave for a magical vacation to Walt Disney World is to prep by having family movie nights!



Fans of Mickey Mouse House: Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

You guys!!! I am so excited! I reached out to Carol Kneece~~Owner of Fans of Mickey Mouse House and she is guest posting here! With Fall officially beginning, and Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party underway, she gives an awesome review of why you should add this to your fall plans!
Guest Post written by Carol Kneece:

Mickey's Not so Scary Halloween Party is Spooky Fun!


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The Planning Process

As a travel agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, I can attest to just how much planning goes into a Walt Disney World trip! Ideally, booking 7 months out is recommended. ADR (Disney speak for Advanced Dining Reservations) windows for booking open at 180 days prior to your arrival, and you want to have your resort and package picked out by then! 


The Wave....of American Flavors Review


Want to know a hidden gem at Walt Disney World? I am reluctant to share it, but I think the word is getting out on a fantastic restaurant that is easy to score a last minute reservation to. I mean, yay, my favorite restaurant is getting the love it deserves, but boo, I don't want it to become so popular that it becomes difficult to get a reservation here. 



The Wave courtesy of CL Photographs FLICKR







Getting out from behind the lens

So, this week, I have been really struggling with writer's block. I have been going through photos, trying to find some inspiration, and I realized that I did a terrible job as a travel agent, and a blogger, of capturing our Disney trip in April.
When you step out from behind the lens, sometimes, magic happens!

Girls Getaway!!

Here is a great breakdown of Girls Getaway Weekend, hosted by Living With the Magic! I can't even begin to tell y'all how excited I am about this trip! No kids, no husbands, just the girls taking over WDW! If you want to join in on the fun, leave a comment, or reach out to me through my contact info on here! (please excuse the excessive use of exclamation points, I am just really that thrilled). 


MIA

Hey guys!
I just want to do a quick post to let you know things will be quiet until next week. My brother in law is getting married this weekend, and I volunteered to bake their wedding cake....So, the rest of my week will be spent covered in flour and frosting.
I will get pictures and post them here! Wish me luck, it has been a long time since I worked on a wedding cake!

Harmony Barber Shop

Want to know a hidden gem in the Magic Kingdom? When you enter the gates, on the left, before you even start down Main Street, tucked back between City Hall and the Emporium is an old school barber shop. That's right! You can get your hair cut right in the Magic Kingdom! Not only do they do haircuts, their specialty is First Haircuts, and they do them like only Disney can. 


Double 'Ohana, Double the Fun, Part 2


As promised, here is the review on ‘Ohana’s Best Friends Breakfast. Let me start by saying...Best. Breakfast. Ever.

"The first Mickey Waffles from 'Ohana" courtesy of Danuv on FLICKR

Those are serious words for me to label something the best! Maybe it was the ambiance of overlooking Cinderella's Castle, or the fact that is was the last day of our vacation, and I wanted to savor every moment of it....whatever it was, all the stars fell into place to have a stellar breakfast.

Why use a travel agent for Disney when I can book it myself?

I get asked pretty frequently why anyone would book their vacation through me, when they can just do it themselves online. The short answer is that when you book with your local travel agent, you are supporting a small business, versus booking directly with Disney. It doesn't cost anything extra to have me book a vacation than what it does when you go straight to the site, however, you are helping me to grow my business, and support my family when you book through me. 

The long answer covers so much more though! Here are 10 reasons why you should book with me!

My Old Fashioned Life

Things around here are so crazy with back to school and Fall looming right around the corner. I thought, with everything I have on my mind, it would be great to share a little more about my life and home. 
Our home when we first moved in

My Favorite Disney Park

Asking me to pick my favorite Disney Park is like asking me to pick my favorite child. I love each of them for their uniqueness. Depending on my mood, one park may edge out another slightly (okay, maybe with one exception...I'm looking at you Hollywood Studios). EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom though...they all hold a very special place in my heart. When pressed for a favorite, Animal Kingdom will be my answer, almost every time.

Back to School Breakfast Burritos


It's that time of year again! School started back this week for Carolyn and Evan, and for kids all across the country. Gone are the lazy summer mornings, replaced by a feeling of rushing around, making sure everyone gets out the door in time with everything they need for the day. It takes some planning to make it look like I actually have my stuff together first thing in the morning. Breakfast prep is a huge step in the right direction. 

Golf Getaway Weekend

Remember last week when I plugged Girls Getaway Weekend, hosted by Living With the Magic Vacations? Well, this week, I have another amazing event to share, and this one is for the guys!


Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

This morning, while I was walking Hank, I noticed that unmistakable feeling of back to school and Fall in the air. We had a cool front come in overnight, and it is making me crave boots, leggings, and sitting by the fire pit. It also got me thinking about my favorite time of the year at Walt Disney World, and my absolute favorite event, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party! 



Double 'Ohana, Double The Fun, Part 1

Wow, where did this week go? I swear it grew wings and flew! Today for Foodie Friday, I am sharing my review of 'Ohana, one of my absolute favorite restaurants at Disney World. We were able to get reservations for both dinner AND breakfast when we went to the World in April. Today, we take a look at dinner!


This is the sign of good things to come!

Balance

Today, I want to talk about how to balance this crazy life. But first, a plug for the perfect way to help find yourself and that balance! Living With the Magic Vacations is hosting our 2nd Annual Girls' Getaway Weekend in 2017. It is a perfect chance for the girls to say goodbye to all their worries for a few days! 
I'm going...and you should too!

Disney World With a Teenager

On our last trip to Disney World, I was a little worried about the age differences of our kids and finding the right balance on our trip for everyone to have fun. We have a 15, 10, and 4 year old...quite the age span, and trying to make sure everyone is included in the fun is sometimes a challenge. One of the great things about staying at a Walt Disney World Resort is that once you are on property, you can get anywhere with their transportation.

Souvenirs

   
 One of the big questions that comes up in planning a trip is, “How much money should I bring for souvenirs for my kids?” The answer really comes down to, “As much as you are comfortable spending”, but, that isn’t a very concrete answer that helps in budgeting! There are a few ways that parents can go about souvenirs for their kids….and you will definitely want a plan in place, because, when in Disney, everywhere you turn, you are confronted with awesome things to buy.
    I have heard of a lot of people going to the Disney Store Outlet, or other stores to buy souvenirs ahead of time, and then each morning before going out to the parks, the kids wake up to a “Tinkerbell Gift”. This can be something that fits the theme of the park for the day, or stuffed animals, stickers, Disney themed t-shirts, Mickey ears, etc. Parents report that this is a great way to get the kids moving in the morning, and it helps keep the “I want/need this” at bay when they are in the parks.
    We have found what works best for us is to ask family for Disney Gift Cards for our kids for birthdays and holidays as soon as we start planning a trip. Then, when we surprise them with telling them they are going to Disney, we present them with any gift cards, and tell them who they are from, so they can call and thank everyone who contributed cards. Our kids also earn an allowance, and we encourage them to bring their money that they have saved up to spend on souvenirs. We make it clear before we leave that we will buy one thing for each of them while we are in Disney World, but anything else they want, they have their own money to spend. We also remind the kids that we have X amount of days, and if they spend all their money the first day, they are out for the rest of the trip. This helps them to remember to divide up their money at the beginning of the trip to help spread it out. I personally love this way to buy souvenirs. It helps to teach the kids money management, and I have found that the things they pick out and use their own money on are the things they care about the most when we come home from a vacation. Plus, it is a big help for us, as parents, to not worry about where to fit souvenirs into the budget!       
Three years later, and Stitch is still a very well loved souvenir!

When you travel to a Disney destination, there will be so many buying opportunities, and it is best to go in with a plan, otherwise, you will go way over your budget before you know it. Think ahead of time how you want to plan your spending. Whether it is a certain allotment per day, bringing in your own souvenirs for the kids, or having your kids bring their own money with them, make sure that the plan is in place, and let your kids know the expectations ahead of time. Doing so will save your sanity, and your wallet.




Downtime


           
One of the biggest perks of staying on property at Walt Disney World, aside from the magic of being immersed in Disney magic 24/7, is the ability to easily return to your resort for a midday break. When you are travelling, especially with children, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take a few hours in the middle of the day to break and recharge for the evening.

Be Our Guest French Onion Soup....almost

Happy Friday, Happy birthday to me, and Happy Foodie Recipe Day!

Fridays around here will be delicious! I will post Disney inspired recipes, restaurant reviews, and maybe some just for fun recipes that I think you need to know!

So, for our first recipe, last night I made French Onion Soup! It has been on my mind for awhile. You know that feeling...when you get a craving for something, and eventually you have to cave? It was one of those things! So, even though we were under a heat advisory, and it was hot and sticky as all get out, and anything but soup weather, soup I made.

Heaven!

Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After

Once upon a time, a family went to Walt Disney World.
We had had a particularly long day at EPCOT the day before. One of those days where you become “THAT” family…you know the one. The one who starts fighting for no good reason, other than because everyone is so darn tired.

Welcome!


   Hi, and welcome to Just a Spoonful of Sugar! My name is Amy, and I am a work at home mom of 3, plus 2 fur babies. I am a Travel Agent for Living With the Magic Vacations, and I get to spend my days doing one of the things I love most...planning Disney vacations.